Visit the Mint on Canada Day… and every day this summer!
As anyone who has visited will tell you, a trip to Winnipeg’s Royal Canadian Mint is worth its weight in gold.
Indeed, the Mint isn’t just a beautiful building that happens to be one of the most-Instagrammed locales in the city (because really, how can one resist taking a picture of its glass façade – which was designed by “Manitoba’s greatest architect” Étienne Gaboury – as it reflects the prairie skies?).
It’s in fact a working facility that produces one billion coins each year, pumping out currency for over 75 countries while also making cherished collector’s items that celebrate Canada’s history.
Canada Day at the Mint
Of course, the Mint will certainly be taking part in the current country wide celebration to mark 150 years since Confederation, along with being a great destination on Canada Day itself where a whole host of activities await.
On Canada Day, July 1 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Mint will allow guests to embark on free self-guided tours where you can see the state-of-the-art processes that can create 20 million coins (that's 16 coins per second) daily onsite.
Collectors will want to get there early because there will also be a limited Canada Day coin exchange whereby you can get a limit of five, one-dollar coins along with one free Canada 150 themed token strike per guest.
On top of that, there will be children’s entertainers, along with all the fun interactive games that the Mint is known for.
Tours that are worth every penny
Okay, while that subheading should be put out of circulation (just like the ¢1 coin), tours at the Mint truly set the gold standard for visitor experiences.
On a tour of the Royal Canadian Mint you will be exposed to a truly worldly experience. As the flags that adorn its grounds indicate, this place has produced coinage for nearly 40 per cent of the world’s countries.
Tours of The Mint – which are available in English and French and run for approximately 45 minutes – also provide a lesson in Canadian history. Limited edition heritage coins are frequently released that depict pivotal points in Canadian history. On a tour, you'll learn about these coins and how the past, present and future of Canada's heritage are reflected in the design of our currency. Plus, you'll get to see the medals that the Mint designed for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games.
There is also a fun interactive trivia area where you can test your knowledge of coins around the world and learn of the symbolism and significance inherent in certain depictions of our currency.
And hey, have you ever watched one of those bank robber movies? You know, the ones where they blow up a safe and then load all those gold bars into a bag that the biggest guy on the bank-robbing team can barely lift? And after, you are caught thinking, well how heavy could one of those bars be?
Well, I tell you this, gold bars are heavy(!), and at the Mint you will get to feel just how weighty they are. On display in the interactive section (which your kids will love by the way) is one pure gold bar worth nearly half a million dollars that you can pick up and hold – which of course makes for a great photo op.
Aside for the aforementioned Canada Day celebration, where tours will be self-guided, you are best to book a tour at the Mint before visiting, which you can do so by calling 204-983-6429.
The Royal Canadian Mint in Winnipeg is located at 520 Lagimodière Boulevard and is open for tours Monday to Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Mint’s Boutique, where you can pick up those collector’s items and great gifts is open Monday to Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.